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Poster: chris in long beach Date: Oct 16, 2011 6:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can you tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 on a blind test?

But what are you hearing that makes the difference? Vocals, guitar, drums, overall feel, what is it?

Just curious because I want to try to test my ears and see if I can pick up differences :)

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Oct 16, 2011 10:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can you tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 on a blind test?

Cleaner crisper sound....almost like TV and HD-TV...

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Oct 16, 2011 7:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can you tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 on a blind test?

Generally speaking, the sound is richer , more three dimensional, the more "information" you are receiving . Mp3 is ok for its ease of use some shows I only have in mp3 ( sounds better than some of my old, dubbed from radio, 4+ generations , tapes did )but if you are sitting in-front of some speakers, a lossless format will sound better . And I don't think you have to be a "golden ears", or own a 10k Hi-Fi to hear this . BUT the ease of use may outweigh better sound, i.e., "it is good enough for me " .

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Poster: Skobud Date: Oct 16, 2011 8:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can you tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 on a blind test?

I think this may help. Think of it as brightness or clarity. Most of the time if a board has static, humm, hiss, etc its gonna sound the same regardless of copy. The difference may be in the overall depth of the sound.

The only real measurable difference comes in the higher frequencies. Im talking > 16k. mp3 320 is absolutely equivalent in signal reproduction to flac insofar as what the human ear can even hear. When you start losing higher frequencies due to compression(lower vbr and cbr, or a bitrate < 192) the recording may start to sound hollow or like it has waay to much dolby on or something.

As far as my personal opinion, flac is great, but if you archive as much music as I have mp3 is the way to go. Just go with 320 bitrate and you will not hear a difference. People that tell you they do would have to know exactly what they are looking for(in other words understand how compression works) and most likely view it on a program like Soundforge or Cubase.

I think that most people that tell you there is an audible difference has no idea what they are talking about. They simply like the idea of the perfect digital copy. Thats just my opinion though.


EDIT: My post above looks snarky at the end and that is not how I meant it. You can hear the difference in a shitty low vbr recompressed copy vs flac. My point being is that circulating copies that most people listen to these days are already high enough in bitrate that you would not hear a real difference, regardless of system. You would have to graph it to see where the loss really is.

This post was modified by Skobud on 2011-10-16 15:30:31

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Poster: WillCo Date: Oct 17, 2011 1:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can you tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 on a blind test?

I remember similar discussions when "HiFi" playback (of FM radio and LPs particularly) became more affordable in the early '70s.

I read somewhere why it was so important to be able to play sound frequencies that the human ear was incabable of hearing; I can't remember the science except that mention of harmonics was the clincher: something about how the acoustics of a room and within an instrument react to vibrations - even those you cannot hear - by producing harmonics which shape the sounds that you can then hear.

I believe that stuff, even if I don't understand it, and agree with others about the muddiness of low bitrate mp3s. The higher bitrate ones sound fine to me, as good as lossless.

For me one of the more important factors is always how music was recorded in the first place. In a neighbouring thread there was a link to the jerryradio site where the PERRO sessions with Crosby, Garcia etc. were being made available. They were brilliantly recorded, and sound fantastic - even though the bitrate of the files is very low. At the other extreme, listen to some of the poorly recorded (in terms of recording conditions - acoustics, crowd noise etc.) audience recordings that are posted on the archive in lovingly-transferred 24bit flac. They can sound pretty bad, no matter what resources are available.

You said you couldn't figure out how to transfer flacs to CD. The Nero express software that came free with my PC does that for me very easily, totally transparently. It can't handle shorten SHN files, but I use Winamp to "write" shn files to the hard disk in wav format, and then burn the wav files to CD. A bit longwinded maybe, but it is very quick, and always works.

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Poster: craven714 Date: Oct 16, 2011 8:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can you tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 on a blind test?

The cymbals tell all.

Attachment: 220px-BillKreutzmann.jpg

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Poster: rastamon Date: Oct 16, 2011 8:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Can you tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 on a blind test?

give it a "Blindfold test" so you don't know beforehand which source you're listening to